Lawsuit attempts to use six-strikes copyright system in case against Verizon subscriber

Verizon, which just recently finished its acquisition of Mohave Wireless, has been pulled into a copyright legal spat, with a studio that produces adult films having subpoenaed the ISP for copies of its six-strike alerts against the individual being sued. That's not all the information the studio wants, however, with it prying farther into the subscriber's Internet usage.

We knew the six-strikes system was coming for quite some time, with it suffering a delay before its targeted roll-out date last year, finally going into effect on February 25 of this year. The system is being utilized by the big-name ISPs – Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Time Warner Cable, and Cablevision – to curbstomp piracy via education using a variety of punitive methods often decried as draconian in nature.

While leaked memos and such had revealed ahead of time the various punishments subscribers would face under the six-strikes system, they were officially revealed a couple days after the system went live. You can read a detailed write-up of each ISP's six-strike system here, but the basic idea is that when a copyright alert is triggered, the subscriber will face throttled speeds, an educational session, limited website access, or other similar effects.

Now, a little over a month after the system went into effect, a Verizon subscriber is facing legal action from Malibu Media, producer of adult entertainment, over alleged sharing of copyrighted materials. Malibu Media has subpoenaed Verizon for copies of the six-strike notices the subscriber received under the new system, as well as information on how much bandwidth he used and a list of viewed pay-per-view films he watched.

The twist in the case is that Verizon said "No." It says that in addition to Malibu having harassed it in the past, the ISP wishes to protect its subscribers from "shakedown tactics against Doe defendants." The studio has pushed back and is trying to force Verizon's hand, but that issue aside, there's a larger one at play: will the six-strikes system, which was designed and intended to serve merely as an educational tool on the realities of copyright and infringement, be used as a weapon against the browsing public?

[via Torrent Freak]